At its best Castagnet’s debut work artfully skirts overt philosophizing about mind-body relations and necropolitics, keeping this slim speculative novel at an athletic pace and leaving ample room for us to explore its marvelous world for ourselves.
Rebellion in Patagonia revealed a tragedy of the highest order, no doubt. But it’s in the story of the book and what happened to its author that we find the farce.
The novel’s power, in large part due to its sequencing of events, lies in the sense that the first chapter’s point of jadedness becomes inevitable, a naturally unnatural response to a lifetime of thwarted dreams.
With our own era’s debates on science, truth, and the merit of religion, THE WILLOW KING makes us appreciate how much, and how little, have changed in the intervening three hundred years.
For Carrington, surrealism seems less of an art movement designed to attack the world, and more like something purged from the body, like a ball of mucous or grease on the skin after a fever.